Space Kids - Light Year Academy

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Welcome to the Light Year Academy! This event is designed to set you off on your journey to becoming an astronomer, by combining all our Space Kids events into one fun-filled event. 

Starting with our solar system, we will learn more about why our own planet experiences changes like the seasons and explore the planets whilst making a smaller, to-scale version of our solar system using inflatable planets.  

Then, there will be a tour of the observatory where each room will contain a different activity and something new to learn. In our largest observing room, you will be able to see our telescopes and understand how they work using some lasers and differently shaped glass to demonstrate what happens to the light entering a telescope. You may even operate them yourself. If the sun is shining, we can safely observe the sun and perhaps some stars.  

In another room, you will detect the different, invisible types of light that exist around us every day and show you why astronomers use them to show us more of the universe. At the beginning of this activity, you will watch as our radio telescope moves into place to take a picture of the Sun in radio waves and at the end you will be shown what it captured.  

The last stop is our space rock collection. After learning more about comets, asteroids, and meteorites and where they come from, you will be able to take a closer look at some real pieces of rock from space. These rocks will be the oldest things you will ever touch, and you will even be able to touch the moon. But look closely! Some normal rocks will be added to our collection, and you must identify which ones are from space and which aren’t. 

Now, here comes the really fun bit. To finish, we are going to talk about space exploration, where astronauts are sent and how they get up there. Then, you will be making your very own rocket that we will fill with air and launch as high as we can go. Prepare to count down, pull the trigger and watch as your rocket shoots into the air! 

At the end of your event, you will receive a certificate to certify that you graduated from the Light Year Academy, as well as some other goodies. You will also be given the opportunity to roam around the observatory one last time, peruse the gift shop and ask our astronomers any questions. 

Join us for a jam-packed evening of activities and come away inspired to learn more about our universe.